An olive branch of forgiveness for me means the willingness to be the bigger person, to take a chance that this the path I choose to walk, can help my narcissistic husband want to join me in repairing our marriage. It isn’t so much as him wanting to join me, I believe he does, it is that due to the attachment style he acquired in his childhood is preventing him from doing this. What all of this means is that I am going to give to him my forgiveness and my trust BEFORE he has actually earned them. Does this mean that you trust blindly? No, absolutely not, but for someone with narcissism they are UNABLE to move forward dwelling in the past. I say take a chance and then be guided by their behavior. I have now taken back control of my destiny, I am in charge and can hopefully guide us (from all I have learned and continued to learn) to a new, healthy relationship. Someone reading this may be thinking that what I purpose is crazy. Why would you trust him after he has had an affair? There are two answers to that: the first is that after trying many different things suggested about dealing with affairs, nothing worked that well for me; and the second is that I discovered that both my husband and I have narcissistic personalities- different types but it’s there poisoning our lives. Conveinential wisdom just doesn’t really address the situation properly.
Due to their upbringing, Narcissitic personalities respond differently to love and caring. It’s due to their attachment styles developed growing up. Basically they never feel that they will be loved or are worthy of being loved so they will do things that will push love away so the don’t have to experience the pain of having it taken from them. They will lie, they may cheat, they will blame you for all the problems in their life, they respond with negative and pessimistic attitudes. In an article titled “Why do so many people respond negatively to being loved?” http://www.psychalive.org/why-people-respond-so-negatively-to/being/loved explains that: it is the acceptance of being loved in reality that can disconnect people from the fantasy bond with their parents.
This was a lot to let sink, I had to accept that although my husband was a strong, successful man on the outside, inside he was a child, a frightened child. Would he ever admit or acknowledge this? Of course not- he isn’t even aware of this. He certainly would not want me tell him this (or anyone else), in fact, It would feel like an assault to him. Instead of seeing that I am learning and doing these things to save our lives!
Let me give you a hypothetical scenario as an example: Three children are playing in the living room you hear a crash, as you enter you see your favorite vase is broken to pieces, you angrily yell “who did this?, what is wrong with you? you know better than to play ball in the house, you’re in BIG trouble now- who did this?” The three all chime in “Not me!”, “Not me!”, “Not me!”. Do you know who did it? Does not knowing make the vase any less broken? It does not, and the environment the parent created does not foster the truth. So this child learns to not accept responsibilkity because to do so would put him in BIG trouble. As an adult, they react similarly when in a similar situation. It is unacceptable to think that they are worthy of love.
I know, I know it sounds like a lot of psycho babble but what I have to tell you is that the day I gave “olive branch” of forgiveness to my husband was the day the switch flipped ( I REALLY MEAN IT WAS LIKE A SWITCH FLIPPED) in our relationship. I’ll leave you my friends with the “quote of the day”….
Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, nor does it mean that you’ve given the message that what someone did was okay. It just means that you’ve let go of the anger or guilt towards someone or towards yourself. But that can be easier said than done. If forgiveness was easy, everyone would be doing it.”